- 4 cups fresh basil leaves (stems removed), loosely packed
- 1/3 cup toasted pine nuts
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon chopped garlic (1 clove)
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/3 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
- 1/3 cup finely grated pecorino Romano cheese
- Soak basil leaves in cold water for 1 hour.
- Place pine nuts, olive oil and garlic in a small blender or food processor. Pulse until mixture is a coarse paste.
- Shake most, but not all, of the water off 1 cup of the basil leaves. Add to blender and pulse a few times. Repeat with remaining basil leaves, adding 1 cup at a time. Process, pulsing, until puréed and smooth.
- Add salt and pulse until smooth. Add the cheeses and pulse just until blended. Do not over blend, as the sauce can separate.
- Place pesto in a small bowl or jar. If preparing more than 30 minutes ahead, cover with a thin layer of olive oil.
When serving: add 1 tablespoon hot pasta water to the sauce and let it sit for a few minutes, to melt the cheeses and make it silkier.
Make ahead: pesto can be prepared, a thin layer of oil added to the top, covered and refrigerated for up to 2 weeks. Can also be frozen up to 3 months.
- Category: sauces, pasta, make ahead
- Method: food processor or blender
- Cuisine: Italian